Navigation Links
'Neurological work-arounds' offer hope to people with monoamine-related disorders
Date:2/20/2009

Researchers have known for decades that the brain has a remarkable ability to "reprogram" itself to compensate for problems such as traumatic injury. Now, a research article published in the February 2009 issue of the journal Genetics (http://www.genetics.org) suggests that the brain may also be able to compensate for problems with key neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. This finding may open the doors to entirely new lines of research and treatments for a wide range of brain disorders, including addiction, depression, Parkinson's disease, and schizophrenia.

David Krantz, Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and Anne Simon, now an Assistant Professor at York College of the City University of New York were the two lead investigators on the study. "Illnesses such as depression, addiction, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease devastate millions of lives each year. Current treatment strategies often fail and remain poorly understood," said Krantz. "In our research, we have discovered a simple way to identify the functional changes that may be associated with these illnesses and to research new drugs."

To reach this conclusion, Krantz, Simon and colleagues bred fruit flies with what should have been a devastating, life-threatening mutation in the vesicular monoamine transporter gene. This mutation caused their brain cells to be unable to release monoamine neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Fruit flies were used in the study because they are convenient for genetic experiments and have a set of neurotransmitters that is nearly identical to that of humans. And as is the case with humans, monoamine neurotransmitters are considered necessary for the fly to function normally. The researchers observed that although the mutant fruit flies crawled less as larvae and were infertile as adults, they lived and were surprisingly healthy in many respects. This suggests that there is at least one neurological mechanism that helps them compensate for the lack of monoamine neurotransmitters. The next step is to identify the specific changes that take place in their brains to determine how much of this might be applicable to humans.

"We see this over and over: humans are not so different from the other animals," said Mark Johnston, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Genetics. "By studying simple organisms like the fruit fly, we learn fundamental things about our makeup, even organs as complex as the brain."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tracey DePellegrin Connelly
td2p@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-1812
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Biologists discover link between CGG repeats in DNA and neurological disorders
2. Deranged calcium signaling contributes to neurological disorder, UT Southwestern researchers find
3. MNI researchers locate neurological basis of depression following sports concussion
4. New paper offers key insights into how new species emerge
5. Studies offer guide as protein interaction mapping comes of age
6. UC Davis discovery offers hope for treating kidney cancer
7. International public-private partnership offers new paradigm for medicinal chemistry
8. Rong Li Lab offers insight into adaptive ability of cells
9. New papers offer insights into process of malarial drug resistance
10. Light pollution offers new global measure of coral reef health
11. Ripple effect: Water snails offer new propulsion possibilities
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/23/2017)... 23, 2017  The general public,s help is being enlisted in what,s ... live in and on the human body –and are believed to affect ... The Microbiome Immunity Project is ... starting with the gut. The project's goal is to help advance scientific ... ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ITHACA, N.Y. , June 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... leader in dairy research, today announced a new collaboration ... reduce the chances that the global milk supply is ... dairy project, Cornell University has become the newest academic ... Supply Chain, a food safety initiative that includes IBM ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal ... and MD EMR Systems , an electronic ... for GE, have established a partnership to build ... and the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice ... These new integrations will allow healthcare ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has unveiled ... bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to new ... , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking classes ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... International research firm Parks Associates announced today that ... TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in Scottsdale, ... security market and how smart safety and security products impact the competitive ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main ... "The residential security market has experienced continued ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today ... which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb ... The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted ... saved as compared to standard bone marrow stem ... resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... study published on October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain ... with the gold standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) ...
Breaking Biology Technology: